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Canada’s Concours Musical International de Montréal Awards 2024 Piano Prizewinners

by Madonna

The 2024 piano edition of the Concours Musical International de Montréal (CMIM) has concluded, marking another milestone in its history. Since its inception in 2001, the competition has attracted nearly 5,000 young artists from more than 90 countries, representing the finest music institutions worldwide.

In the climactic two-night final round, six exceptional pianists — Elias Ackerley, Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, Jakub Kuszlik, Anthony Ratinov, Gabriele Strata, and Derek Wang — took the stage alongside the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the baton of guest conductor Xian Zhang.

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The coveted First Prize, entailing a substantial package of cash awards and performance opportunities totaling over $140,000, was claimed by 25-year-old pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko from British Columbia, Canada. Jaeden is set to receive the Grand Cash Prize of $30,000 from la Ville de Montréal, the Joseph-Rouleau Career Development Grant of $50,000 sponsored by The Azrieli Foundation, the esteemed Steinway Recording Prize (valued at over $54,000), in addition to engagements including Steinway Prizewinner Concerts, a Korean Tour, a performance with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in an upcoming season, and a solo recital engagement for the Coast Recital Society’s 2025-2026 season.

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The Second Prize, valued at $15,000, was awarded to 24-year-old pianist Gabriele Strata from Italy, while the Third Prize and $10,000 went to 26-year-old pianist Anthony Ratinov from the United States.

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Gabriele Strata also clinched the Audience Award, alongside the Award for Best Canadian Artist, both valued at $5,000 each.

The 2024 CMIM jury, chaired by Zarin Mehta, included esteemed figures such as Dmitri Alexeev, Jan Jiracek von Arnim, Lydia Artymiw, Louise Bessette, Robert Levin, Hélène Mercier, Ronan O’Hora, and Minsoo Sohn.

During the semifinal round, Strata earned the Chamber Music Award, while Izik-Dzurko was recognized for the best performance of a sonata and the best rendition of the compulsory Canadian work. Furthermore, Élisabeth Pion received the Bita Cattelan Philanthropic Engagement Award, and Jakub Kuszlik was honored with the Junior Jury Prize.

Notably, pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko, named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2021, has amassed an impressive array of accolades, including the 1st prize at the 2022 Hilton Head International Piano Competition and the 2022 Maria Canals International Music Competition. He also secured top honors at the 20th Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition, capturing the 1st prize, the Canon Audience Prize, and the Chamber Music Award.

Jaeden’s performances have graced prestigious venues worldwide, including the Wigmore Hall in London, Weill Recital Hall in New York, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Master of Music degree from the University of British Columbia, and currently continues his studies at the Detmold Hochschule für Musik and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under the guidance of renowned mentors.

Previous winners of the CMIM piano edition include Su Yeon Kim, Zoltan Fejervari, Jayson Gillham, Beatrice Rana, and Nareh Arghamanyan.

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